John S. Ott
Department of History
Portland State University
HST 453/553 - The Medieval City
250 points / 25%
Due in class between Tuesday,
25, and Tuesday, November 1 (inclusive)
- Papers should be around 5 pp. in length, typed, double-spaced,
have a title, page numbers, and your name.
- You do not
need to append a bibliography or list of works cited.
- You are invited to consult my style guide,
which explains what I look for in thesis writing, my system of paper
and tips on the stylistic and grammatical conventions one must often
in writing about the medieval past.
- Reference to works cited may be made parenthetically in the
text, in one of the following forms: (Galbert, Murder, Betrayal,
of Charles the Good, 187; "End of the Ancient City," 23) OR (Galbert,
187; Liebeschuetz, 22). After the first citation of a source, the
work's title or designation may be
truncated. Thus: (Murder, 186; "End," 22). Footnotes are
needed nor required, but if you prefer to employ footnotes, feel free.
Chicago or MLA style are acceptable..
- Papers must argue and support a thesis, while drawing on as
many texts as you feel are necessary to support your case, but you must
use at least three primary
and two secondary
sources from our assigned readings this term. One of the primary
sources MUST BE Galbert
Late paper policy
Late papers will be accepted until November 28.
Exemptions from the late paper policy and/or paper extensions will be
only in cases of genuine and demonstrated need, and only in advance of the paper due date.
Students are directly responsible for ensuring that hard copies of
their papers get safely
into my hands. I will accept only hard copies of papers, although you
may e-mail your paper to me as an attachment in order to verify
the date on which it was completed (in the case of papers submitted
the due date), with the expectation that you will furnish me the hard
as soon as possible.
Late papers will be deducted 3 points (on a scale of 100, so 7.5 points
on a scale of 250) per day,
Also, the following conditions apply:
- Late papers will automatically go to the bottom of the grading
- Instructor makes no promises that late papers will be graded in
timely fashion, whereas papers turned in on the due date will be
in a timely fashion.
- Instructor does not guarantee that late papers will receive any
other than their assigned grade; papers turned in on time will receive
full written assessment and evaluation.
In the course to date, we have examined the characteristics,
development, descriptions, and
morphology of late antique, early, and high medieval cities (from
down to about 1150) from a variety of perspectives, emphasizing their
as symbolic and monumental spaces, as multi-faceted social entities
of citizens, inhabitants, traders, subjects, etc.), as nodes of
commerce, as built environments with a specific set of physical
characteristics, as political centers, and as geographical and
territorial centers. For your
essay, using a minimum of five
read in class (see above), one of which must
be Galbert of Bruges, I would like you to consider one
following two questions:
(1) In what ways, and to what extent, were European and Mediterranean
cities prior to 1200 integrated into the broader social, political,
cultural, and economic worlds around them? Were they generators or
transmitters of broader
social change, reflectors of wider social change, both? What did being
citizen (cives) in an urbs or civitas entail in the premodern world?
values were attached to this status? You are
to examine and compare the role(s) and condition(s) of cities over time
(for example, cities from prior to the fourth century C.E. with those
400-900 C.E. or 950-1150) C.E. Be mindful that some cities -- Rome, for
example -- might be atypical in terms of their development, scale, and
(2) In what ways were cities recognized as privileged spaces in the
early medieval landscape? What forms did that privilege -- or sense of
-- assume? What factors seem to have contributed most to the formation
foundation of these privileges, and how was the sense of the urban
as a privileged space expressed by the residents of medieval towns?